First, let me just say that this is my first fan fiction so please be kind. This story is a rewrite of ALW's story, so if you're not in to alternative reality fics, then don't read. Here, Christine has not been working in the Opera House but rather has remained in a music conservatory. She has not met Erik yet, but she has already become engaged to Raoul. It is through him that she gets to the Opera House and meets our beloved Phantom. The story will most likely end up E/C because I just love that pairing. My characterization is mostly taken from the play, though I do have some inspiration from the movie. Anyway, that's enough of that. I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Christine, Raoul, Erik, or any other characters in this story who belong to Gaston Leroux and Andrew Lloyd Webber. I also do not own the songs, which are by Andrew Lloyd Webber unless otherwise noted.

"Christine Daae, will you marry me?" The Vicomte had lowered himself onto one knee and was looking up into the young girl's face expectantly. Slowly, he took her hand and placed the elaborately decked ring onto her finger. Christine blushed and quickly gazed around to see if anyone was watching, dozens of thoughts flying through her head as she looked down again to meet Raoul's awaiting blue eyes.

She had been expecting the proposal for some time now, as they had been courting for several months. Often she debated what her answer would be once he delivered the question. Is this what she wanted? She, the daughter of a poor violinist, was being proposed to by a Vicomte! And her childhood sweetheart at that!

At the corner of her eye she noticed several of her friends from the conservatory whispering, envy plastered upon their faces. It was then she remembered what she would lose should she accept the proposal. Not only would her friendships end, but the dream she had carried since she was a small girl would be put to rest. Never would she sing on a stage. Never would she become a prima donna. Though still young, Christine knew the risk Raoul was taking by marrying far below his class. His family was most likely displeased with the decision. She could never become a professional singer as his wife, or as anyone's wife for that matter.

All the same, there was comfort in knowing that her future held no more uncertainty. Raoul was a kind and honest man who would protect her and provide for her, and Christine did feel an innocent love for him. She would be a Vicomtess-adorned in the finest clothes with servants at her beck and call. Money would never be an issue. If she were to say no, she would regret it forever.

"Oh, Raoul! Yes, of course I will marry you." Her heart fluttered as he rose to his feet. The Vicomte, who had been put at unease by her delayed response, felt himself calm down. Taking her two hands into his, he looked down onto her shining face. While searching for a place to give his patronage, Raoul had encountered Christine at the music conservatory. They had been great friends in their younger years-telling stories, playing by the sea. Her father had also taught him how to play the violin. What were the chances that he would meet his childhood sweetheart after nearly ten years? He knew that they belonged together. Yes, she was from an undistinguished background, but he preferred that to the pompous women he had been introduced to throughout his life. Christine, with her mild mannerisms, would easily become a respected woman of society.

"You have made me extremely happy today, my love. I will give you a wonderful life." They stared into each other's eyes until Raoul glanced down at his pocket watch. "Oh, it is getting late, and I am afraid I have an appointment. We shall go through the details at a later time." He laid a kiss on her dark brown curls and confidently strode off into the cool evening air. Christine stood on the steps staring after him. Though she felt warm inside, there was also a somewhat unpleasant sensation building up in the pit of her stomach.

"It is just nerves," she told herself quietly. "I will soon find great happiness."